An air quality alert has been issued for Baton Rouge Wednesday morning because air monitors have measured increased particulate matter in the air because of the marsh fire in the Bayou Sauvage area of eastern New Orleans, according to a release from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The air quality index has been raised from moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups. Children and elderly should limit their outdoor activities, according to DEQ. People with asthma, allergies or other breathing problems should also avoid being outside for long periods of time, according to DEQ. Other people should avoid being outside for extended periods if smoke is in the air.

The continuing fire in the marsh means that particulate matter - very small pieces of material in the air that can cause health problems - could fluctuate between moderate (yellow on the air quality index) to unhealthy (red on the air quality index).

More information about air quality and air quality forecasts is available at

http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/tabid/2505/Default.aspx